Roommate in Rutgers Suicide Case Pleads Not Guilty - NBC New York

Roommate in Rutgers Suicide Case Pleads Not Guilty

He is charged with invasion of privacy, bias and evidence and witness tampering.



    Raw Video: Roommate Indicted in Rutgers Suicide Case Walks to Court

    Dharun Ravi, charged with bias intimidation and other crimes in connection with the death of his former Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi, walks into court accompanied by his lawyer. (Published Monday, May 23, 2011)

    The roommate of a Rutgers University student who killed himself after prosecutors said he was spied on during an intimate encounter with a man pleaded not guilty to an array of charges Monday morning.

    Nineteen-year-old Dharun Ravi, of Plainsboro, was formally notified of the 15 charges he faces in court Monday.     

    Ravi appeared calm and unemotional in court while his defense attorney, Steven Altman, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Ravi did not speak.     

    The most serious charge is bias intimidation, which alleges that Ravi acted because his roommate, Tyler Clementi, was gay. Ravi could get up to 10 years in prison if he's convicted on that charge.     

    He's also been indicted on numerous other charges, including invasion of privacy.     

    Altman described what will likely be a vigorous defense. He said he would hire experts and probably contract his own investigator.

    Clementi killed himself days after the webcam incident in September, sparking a national conversation about bullying endured by young gays. 

    Clementi's parents and brother attended Ravi's arraignment Monday.

    Flanked by his wife and Tyler's brother, the victim's father, Joseph Clementi, read from a prepared statement.

    "Our family is grateful for the active work of the prosecutor's office in this case," Joseph Clementi read. "We are eager to see the criminal justice process move forward."

    The prosecutor's office has interviewed 125 witnesses to date. The prosecution's evidence, including those interviews, is contained on 88 computer disks, according to information revealed in Monday's hearing.

    Ravi is next due in court July 25 for a status conference. 

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